By Amber Schumacher
EDGEMONT - After 22 years of service, Edgemont Post Office Postmaster Peggy Kaan accepted her plague of recognition of service on Thursday, April 19, the day before her last day as postmaster on Friday, April 20. Manager of post office operations for the state of South Dakota, Richard Camp, was present on Thursday to take part in Kaan’s recognition of service and to usher in the new postmaster.
Kaan, who currently lives in Hot Springs with her husband Rick, was born in Anaconda, Mont. She began her career with the United States Postal Service in 1995 in Billings, Mont. After starting in Billings, Kaan’s flexibility took her to several locations as temporary postmaster in Crow Agency, Mont., Charlo, Mont., and then onto a permanent position as postmaster in Lincoln, Mont. After her time in Lincoln, Kaan worked as a supervisor at the Gillette, Wyo., post office before finally landing in Fall River County in 2007 where she took over as postmaster in Hot Springs. In 2015 Kaan transferred to the Edgemont post office until her retirement last Friday.
Now that Kaan is officially retired, she and her husband Rick have planned to travel most of the summer, with frequent trips back to their home base in Hot Springs throughout their travels. The Kaans plan on traveling in their 5th wheel this summer with their trusty Shichon, a small breed “teddy bear” mix between a Bichon Frise and a Shih Tzu, named Tuff. Their first trip planned on their summer tour is a visit to Texas following by a road trip to Utah and then off to Montana.
In a phone interview with Kaan, she expressed an excitement for her new retirement, as one would assume. With all of the trips planned that lay ahead of her, Kaan took a moment to reflect on her 22 years of service with the USPS and more specifically, her last three years as postmaster in Edgemont.
“It has been nice to be in a small town atmosphere,” Kaan reflected. “It enabled me to be more hands-on and interact with the customers as much as I could, compared to a larger facility.”
“One of my favorite parts about working in Edgemont,” Kaan added, “was meeting all the friendly and welcoming people in Edgemont.”
Kaan will pass the torch onto the new Postmaster, Rhonda White, who comes to Edgemont with an accumulation of 24 years of service for the United States Postal Service.
White started her career as postmaster with the United States Postal Service at the Rapid City plant in 1992 where she worked for the next six years before transferring to the post office in Caputa, where she continued as postmaster for another 14 years. Armed with 20 years of service for USPS, White transferred to Lusk, Wyo., continued to work for the next four years until accepting the new post here in Edgemont.
White, who owns a ranch with her husband in Smithwick, had been enduring a 110 mile commute from Smithwick to Lusk and consequently had to have an additional place to rent in Wyoming. Kaan, who transitioned the office over this past week said of White, “she seems pretty thrilled to be working closer to home.”
White’s roundtrip commute will go from a four hour drive covering nearly 220 miles, to roughly 84 miles and only about an hour and a half of being on the road.
Amber Schumacher/Fall River County Herald
Outgoing Edgemont Postmaster Peggy Kaan, left, poses with S.D. Post Office Operations Manager Richard Camp (center) and new Edgemont Postmaster Rhonda White of Smithwick, during a ceremony last week.